The ACC Tournament is obviously the headliner this weekend (more on that at a time that isn't now), but the opening acts aren't all that shabby.
Saturday and Sunday feature a host of games in the gooey middle of the "Fun Factor" formula. I should note, again, that the "Fun Factor" formula isn't some magical, all-encompassing methodology to pick out the "best" games of the weekend; the formula only considers the following inputs:
- Competitiveness. (I use a modified version of win expectation. I'd like to watch a competitive game. No doink, right?)
- Offensive ability. (I like games featuring teams that are offensively capable. So, nuts to defensive struggles.)
- Pace. (I like games that are a little more up and down the field. So, nuts to you, Notre Dame and Princeton and. . . .)
When you add it all up it usually does a good job at identifying beer-in-hand-and-ass-on-couch games. This week, though, there were some weird games getting spit out of the machine. Before I address those, let's run down a few that missed the top-five cut:
- The ACC Tournament Championship. Whoever gets out of the woods tomorrow is going to be part of the funnest game on Saturday. Regardless of the matchup, that game rates anywhere from a 6.00 to 7.00+ on the "Fun Factor" scale. Hooray for yet-to-be-named participants!
- Bucknell-Colgate: 4.1358 (7th). Plain and simple: Winner takes home the regular season hardware, loser hitches up their britches for the Patriot League's two-seed. Huge game over in Hamilton, New York.
- Penn State-Delaware: 2.6917 (17th). Another THUNDERDOME! special. The Nittany Lions are currently in the four-spot in the CAA; Delware is a perfect 4-0 in league play. A Penn State victory potentially changes the scenery at the bottom of the seeding pool and gives Hofstra a shot at the league's top position.
- Navy-Johns Hopkins: 4.1519 (6th). This is it for the Midshipmen. One last game this season to make some noise. The Blue Jays are flying high and are looking to avoid any pitfalls before the NCAA Tournament starts.
- Vermont-UMBC: 1.8400 (22nd). A win draws the Catamounts even with the Retrievers record-wise in the America East. This is huge as the fourth-seeded team in the conference has the distinct pleasure of getting curb-stomped by Stony Brook in the first round of the league's tournament.
Now, let's rank 'em for the weekend:
|5.||April 23||7:00||Albany||Stony Brook||4.2071|
|27.||April 23||12:00||Presbyterian||Air Force||0.8627|
This is the last game ever (EVER!) for the Blue Hose of Presbyterian. It's fitting that they'd go out playing the worst game of the weekend.
Also: The reason that the Cornell and Denver games are rated so high is because the Big Red and Pioneers are, respectively, the second and fifth most "fun" teams in the country. To be honest, I think that Hofstra-Massachusetts and Yale-Georgetown actually have the potential to be more interesting to watch.
What's your feeling on the games this weekend? Looking forward to anything else? Leave 'em in the comments below.